FONTANA DI TREVI
With its approximately 26 meters height and 50 meters width the Fontana di Trevi is the biggest fountain in Rome. According to Nicola Salvis drafts the building began in 1732 and only ended 30 years later. The reasons for the long construction period were recurring financial problems and the very high demands of the architect himself. For instance, until he was finally satisfied with the result Salvi had sundry rock landscapes built several times.
The architectural theme is the forces of nature. Several mythical creatures of the sea are represented. On one side the frontage seems to crack and the whole thing is dramatised by running water which from a distance produces a distinguishable sound of the sea. Salvi experimented with several stone surfaces to obtain this effect.
In the center is superimposed a robustly modelled triumphal arch. The center niche or exedra framing Oceanus has free-standing columns for maximal light-and-shade. In the niches flanking Oceanus, Abundance spills water from her urn and Salubrity holds a cup from which a snake drinks. Above, bas reliefs illustrate the Roman origin of the aqueducts.
The backdrop for the fountain is the Palazzo Poli, given a new facade with a giant order of Corinthian pilasters that link the two main stories. Taming of the waters is the theme of the gigantic scheme that tumbles forward, mixing water and rockwork, and filling the small square. Tritons guide Oceanus' shell chariot, taming seahorses (hippocamps). The tritons and horses provide symmetrical balance, with the maximum contrast in their mood and poses.
The fountain attained international fame when one of the most famous scenes in film history arose here. It was the scene of the nightly bath from the Fellini-Film “La Dolce Vita” starring Anita Ekberg and Marcello Mastroianni.
An old popular belief says; if you throw a coin with the left hand over the right shoulder into the Fontana di Trevi you will return to Rome one day. At least Caritas is delighted with this superstition. The city administration fishes out estimated 600’000 Euro out of the fountain every year and passes it over to this aid organization. Why don’t you also throw a coin?